Kara Goldin’s Scrappy Journey to $70M in Revenue

October 6, 2015

8:27 pm

Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of Hint Water, a company that created a type of flavored water completely untarnished by terrible ingredients. That means no diet sweeteners and preservatives; additionally, the water is also gluten-free, non-gmo, vegan, and contains zero calories. At Celebrate 2015, Goldin joined Mixergy founder Andrew Warner for a fireside chat where she talked about her scrappy journey to eventually earning nearly $70 million annual revenue.

Now available across Whole Foods across the country, Hint Water was born out of Goldin's obsession with soda. That obsession with soda led her to a point at which she thought she had diabetes. With a fourth child along the way, Goldin made the ultimate decision to cut soda completely out of her diet, and instead increased her water intake.

“I was at a point when I believed that everything I was putting into my system was making me sick,” said Goldin. “I tried to drink plain water for a month and quietly gave up on Diet Coke. Three weeks later, I lost 24 pounds…I thought at that moment ‘Why don't doctors actually go through your cabinets and figure out what you're putting into your body?'”

After coming up with a prototype for what would soon be Hint Water, she approached a Whole Foods in San Francisco and simply asked how to get her product to the shelf. A few days later, Goldin found herself sending two cases. And this same approach – of going directly into stores and going up to talk to those in charge of inventory – remains part of the company scrappy workings. For instance, when they were ready to launch in New York, the company literally went door-to-door and began offering stores boxes of Hint Water to sell.

This practice still continues to this day, despite the company having landed major distributors. “Even when you have your own distributor, you still need to have your own people still selling and still distributing the product.”

And this strategy has paid off well for Hint Water, which is now at a stage where Goldin feels like a possible public offering could be in the works.

On October 4-6, Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference is gathering hundreds of attendees, industry leaders, and inspiring speakers in downtown Vegas to meet the hottest startups and investors from around the country, learn and collaborate with others turning their communities into startup cities, and enjoy music, parties, and llama spotting. Check out more Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference coverage here.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.